Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 17, 2013

Ivy Tech aims for higher degree attainment

Chancellor said math program could be game changer for area.

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo will soon launch two new programs aimed at retaining more students, drawing more adults in and filling a critical skills gap in advanced manufacturing.

Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder was on campus Wednesday to talk about the initiatives and the need to increase educational attainment in Indiana.

Only 33 percent of adults in Indiana have at least an associate degree — ranking the state 40th in the nation. In the Ivy Tech Kokomo region, those numbers fall even lower.

Howard County comes in highest at 28.3 percent. Miami County falls lowest. Only 20.36 percent of that county’s adults have an associate degree or higher.

Snyder said the college is trying to be more proactive in changing those numbers.

Ivy Tech Kokomo region is unveiling new programs that chancellor Steve Daily said will be game changers for the area.

Next fall, Ivy Tech Kokomo region is launching a new math program. Students signing up for classes will choose a math course based on their area of study.

Ivy Tech will offer three levels of math — STEM, technical and quantitative learning math. The third is a practical math class geared toward students who won’t need much math in their careers, Daily said.

“It made little sense to make a student take a high level math course if it didn’t prepare them in any fashion for their careers,” he said.

A lot of career fields don’t need STEM math like calculus, Snyder said. In fact, the idea of taking high level math classes deters many adults from ever even trying to return to college.

Snyder said he can see why it would be intimidating. Even students who come straight from high school sometimes need math remediation because it’s been a year or two since their last algebra class.

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